US Supreme Court legalizes bribery

Discussion in 'Politics' started by gymfresh, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. gymfresh

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    Today the US Supreme Court dropped a massive bombshell. Basically, it flung the United States several furlongs ahead in becoming a corporate-run state. If there was any upside to this ruling, it's that political bribery is now legal and out in the open.

    Basically, the logic goes like this:

    -- The constitution guarantees free speech

    -- Money (donations to a political candidate) is a form of speech and therefore must be not be unduly regulated

    -- Corporations are "legal persons" (with rights of humans, but limited liability; see SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) decisions dating back to the 1800's declaring corporations to be "juristic persons" with many constitutional rights, except to marry or vote).

    -- Therefore, the First Amendment right to free speech invalidates restrictions on corporate contributions to political candidates and parties.

    Here are brief excerpts from the New York Times summary:

    WASHINGTON — Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

    The ruling was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.

    The 5-to-4 decision was a doctrinal earthquake but also a political and practical one. “If the First Amendment has any force,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, which included the four members of its conservative wing, “it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”

    Justice John Paul Stevens read a long dissent from the bench. He said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. His decision was joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing.


    As one commenter noted, this may be the most naked act of judicial activism in our nation's history. The parties in this case didn't even raise the larger issue of whether corporate spending could be constrained at all, but SCOTUS went to the extraordinary length of holding hearings on this case twice in order to open up broader issues than the plaintiffs sought. To reach the conclusion it did today, SCOTUS had to overturn almost 100 years of their own precedent, including a definitive case on similar facts 20 years ago that had recently been affirmed. Even the Court's most conservative judges in the past have seen the logic in limiting bald bribery -- but not the newest conservative activist judges of the Roberts court.

    Can Brits picture MPs wearing Vodafone, HSBC and BP patches on their suit jackets, advertising their allegiance to their largest sponsors? Well, this is what we just got in the US.
     
  2. houtx48

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    It's now called campaign reform.
     
  3. TroMag

    TroMag New Member

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    America has not been a democracy for a long time. Corporations masquerading as 'people' for purposes of political influence is a bad joke. Your one vote means nothing compared to the many millions of dollars a corporation can put behind a candidate.

    And monetary donations are free speech? What a bastardization of the Constitution.

    If we had real campaign finance limits and shut corporations out of Congressional lobbying, we might find Congress working for the people. Until then, they work for the corporations, who use the citizenry for profit, and don't give a shit about what happens to citizens in the long run.
     
    #3 TroMag, Jan 21, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  4. houtx48

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    sorry, campaign FINANCE reform.
     
  5. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Ouch... this one hurts a bit. And with a 5-4 vote, I'm sure it'll be debated quite feverishly.
     
  6. tripod

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    Ahhh... the seeds of a future corporate dystopia have been planted.

    If this country ever thought that it was fucked before... that ain't shit when compared to what we are going to experience in this country going forward.

    The corporate take-over of our beloved country has just won their biggest battle yet. All legislation enacted in the future will only benefit the corporations who are bound by law to reap ever increasing profits for their shareholders. Mankind and the environment will ultimately suffer as a result.

    We are taking a dishonest system and making it downright despicable.

    FUCK YOU ROBERTS
    FUCK YOU ALITO
    FUCK YOU KENNEDY
    FUCK YOU SCALIO
    and FUCK YOU THOMAS


    Corporations are not people, and you five will surely burn in hell.
     
  7. HazelGod

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    Very true. The time for revolution draws nearer...

     
  8. gymfresh

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    Come to think of it, I guess corporations actually can marry and adopt. It's called mergers & acquisitions. That just leaves voting in elections...
     
  9. tripod

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    Won't the corporations employee the local right wing militias to round up the left wing dissidents for targeted termination? The corporations would decimate the progressives in a matter of weeks. The right wing just has too many guns and can all be easily persuaded to kill all of the left wingers that they can find.

    Give me some good news Hazelgod...
     
  10. HazelGod

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    It has nothing to do with the right- or left-aligned wing of the citizenry. As a corporate oligarchy moves from the shadows into the open, the schism between those of means and those without will widen further.

    If you believe the right-wing militia types will be included in that power structure, you're sorely mistaken.

    No, we're approaching a tipping point, in my opinion. In one scenario, we experience a revolution and a reconstruction of government that eliminates the lever of career politics by which corporations exert their influence...and in the other, the apathetic citizenry simply can't be bothered to get up from their sofas to make any stand, and so become literal wage slaves to those in power.
     
  11. D_Fortumus Wigglesack

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    Yep I heard about this. Europe just keeps looking better and better.
     
  12. sargon20

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    Anytime you see a 5-4 ruling this means the common man just took a giant dildo up the ass. It's the best court money can buy.
     
  13. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    And apparently, now they can even do that, albeit with their checkbooks.
     
  14. dc46064

    dc46064 New Member

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    Looks like we are going back in time. In the mid 1800's and the early 1900's , there was a big influx of people coming from Europe. Maybe there will be a large influx in the early 2000's going back to Europe. TroMag said it all! It's been a long time since we have been a democracy. Many times I have thought of going to Europe. Funny, Germany was the problem in the past. When I was there in 1997, I thought " what a real great place to live", healthcare, a 28 hour work week, time to be with your family, nice home to live in and money in your pocket.
     
  15. D_Tully Tunnelrat

    D_Tully Tunnelrat New Member

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    Good idea. Move to Monaco. They have no taxes.
     
  16. gymfresh

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    Yeah, the initial effects here at home will be unpleasant, but I'm really concerned about the ramifications around the world if the US becomes any more of a corporate oligarchy than it is now.

    The reason is that America has been poking its finger in the eye of other countries for years, and when they either dig their heels in or retaliate, we blow them up or embargo them. And it's not even our government that's the problem; it's the corporations. (Well, it is the government, insofar as it has basically abdicated its job in favor of the Fortune 1000.) As I said in another post a while back, our unfettered "private enterprise", with the 100% backing of the US government as its puppet, has been on a winner-takes-all binge in every country it can stick its tentacles without any regard for the consequences. Our babble about "implanting democracy" is just code for making markets more amenable to giving up their currency to buy our goods. And as long as we're singularly focused on this "all the toys in my box and then I win" game, we're going to create enemies. Some really fierce enemies. Believe it or not, there are socially conscious ways to be a successful global competitor.

    Isn't it interesting how the "terrorists" all seem to come from cultures that have been the most altered (work hours, mores, diet) by America's corporate interests? And now we've just given Audrey II miracle-gro.
     
  17. midlifebear

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    Andorra is also a nice place to not pay taxes. And you can ski (on snow embedded with rocks).

    Here the Supreme Court gives corporations and big business all the rights and freedoms as they supposedly do individual citizens . . . PLUS the right to same sex marriage? What is the world coming to? (Example: Kraft and Cadbury merger = same sex)
     
  18. DAMP1

    DAMP1 Active Member

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    Its sick; who appointed these people?
     
  19. ericbythebay

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    People are over reacting. Nothing prevents congress from requiring disclosure before spending the money. And nothing prevents beefing up conflict of interest laws; you get money, you vote, you go to jail.

    Put the onus on the politicians.

    Also nothing prevents laws that would tax campaign contributions.

    If budget deficits came out of the politicians campaign coffers, we wouldn't have nearly the problems we do now.
     
  20. Ericsson1228d

    Ericsson1228d Member

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    LOL. Yeah, its too bad we only have one wise latina on the court.
    :laola:
     
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